Home / Commentary / Matthew / Matthew Chapter 7
Jesus teaches His disciples not to judge other people because they will be judged according to the same standard they use to criticize others. He illustrates this point with the humorous image of a man with a log coming out of his eye trying to help remove a speck of dust in his brother’s eye.
Jesus teaches His disciples to discern who they correct. They should not correct people who are like dogs or swine, people who are unwilling to receive correction, people who will respond with hostility.
Jesus teaches His disciples how much their heavenly Father delights in them coming to Him. He tells them to seek God and ask Him to provide for their needs. God knows how to give good gifts.
Jesus commands His disciples in every circumstance to treat people the same way we want them to treat us. This is both a distillation of everything He has been teaching throughout His Sermon on the Mount, and a distillation of the Old Covenant delivered through Moses.
Jesus gives a parable about life and death. He urges His disciples to seek life by entering through the narrow gate that runs counter to the way of the world. The way of the world is commonly traveled but its end is destruction and ruin.
Jesus gives His disciples a warning against false prophets and a test for unmasking them.
Jesus asserts He will refuse many people entrance into His kingdom on the Day of Judgment because they did not know Him or follow His Father’s will. Despite their claims of performing mighty works in His name, their deeds and hearts violated God’s law.
Continuing His thoughts on the Day of Judgment, Jesus compares two men and their choices. The man who takes His teachings to heart is likesomeone who builds a house that will be able to endure the coming storm. The man who does not take His teachings to heartis like someone who builds a house that will be destroyed by the coming storm.
Jesus’s audience was taken aback by His method of teaching.
Chapter 7 concludes the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus covers practical aspects of kingdom living. He covers how to approach faults in others. He emphasizes the mercy principle by asserting that how the disciples judge others will determine the “measuring stick” God will use to judge them. Whereas the model prayer in Chapter 6 largely focused on a disciple’s attitude, here Jesus covers how to approach God to make requests, believing that God has our best interest at heart. Jesus reiterates the Golden Rule, and warns to guard against false prophets who will lead His disciples astray from living kingdom principles, into ruin.
Jesus also makes it clear that living kingdom principles will not appear as the easy or natural path. In fact, He predicts few will follow kingdom principles. It will be more common for people to get sucked into following the world. The negative consequences will be severe. But Jesus makes clear throughout the Sermon on the Mount that God has gifted His people with the volition to freely choose whether to seek His kingdom and its rewards, or settle for the rewards of the world. Making good choices, following the narrow path, and avoiding false teachers will be like a man who builds a house on a firm foundation that withstands the floods of life. Following the wide path will be like a man who builds a house on sand, that will wash away when the storm rises. In each case, the focus is on rewards, consequences, rather than position in God’s family.